Nov 19, 2014

I am failing at being a mom



There I said it.  At least it is out in the open.  At least I have it off my chest.  

Today...I broke down.  This is not unusual really.  Being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done. I fail EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Then tomorrow I try to do better, just to turn around and basically repeat yesterday.  Very frustrating.  

I stick my daughter in front of the TV.  I do NOT feed her well balanced meals (not even close).   Honestly she eats Goldfish and chocolate milk many days of the week.  Some days I barely see her or even talk to her.  I haven't had a play date in months.  She is so attached to her "game" (tablet) that she has a meltdown if she can't find it.  She is two and a half and still NEEDS a binkie and guess what?  I am doing nothing about it.  When we leave basically anywhere that she is having fun, she turns into a monster from somewhere terrible and will basically kill us to get away from us.  So today when I put all these things together I thought to myself, "I am failing at being a mom."



When that thought came into my mind I was defeated and I was almost as low as you can go.  I was heartbroken for Hannelore.  To think she could have went to a super fit mom that would NEVER allow her to eat half the stuff I allow.  She could have had a mom that was helping her with her attachment to her binkie instead of basically turning a blind eye.  She could have went to a mom that didn't work so she could be home with her all day long.  However, she got me.


Luckily, that thought and that feeling didn't last long.  Thankfully I have amazing women in my life that pick me up during times like this.  I have been inspired by so many women that I know personally or that I know from a distance by reading about their experiences.

Happy 4th of July times.  Mommy shading her.
Do you want to know something?  This feeling is normal.  I honestly think most of moms go through a process just like this.  We all want to be perfect for our little ones and we want them to have the best mom in the world.  We want to EARN that t-shirt or mug or whatever you were given that said World's BEST MOM!

At Mommy and Me dance class
After I had that horrible thought I then thought about all the amazing things I do to be a good mom. No.  I don't feed her a balanced meal, but I feed her.  I try and give her lots of options and even though it isn't every meal I do provide balanced meals.  I thought to myself, "She does eat a lot of vegetables."  I need to look at it that way instead of the negative way.

Picnic in the backyard this last Summer
Yes.  I do stick her in front of the TV...at times.  Honestly, it is not that much though.  I only do it when it is vital.  I try and do play pen time when work is crazy.  That way she is being creative instead of watching mind numbing TV.  Also, when she watches TV I try to have it be educational. Although at times it is not I try to make it at least 90% of the time educational.

Our color picture scavenger hunt we did this last Summer
I do work.  This is probably the main source of my guilt.  She sometimes begs me not to work. However, I have the awesome opportunity to work from home.  Most days work can mold around my schedule (there are some exceptions).  So that means I get to go to play dates sometimes (still working on scheduling those), I get to take her to the library, I get to go to the park with her.  I get to do those things while she is awake and work while she is sleeping.   Again, most of the time.

Did she seriously used to be that little?  You can tell I am a newer more tired mommy here, huh?
I do have areas that I can work on.  For instance we are on a week long "tablet free" break.  No tablet for a week.  I seriously think it is bringing out bad behavior from her.  It makes her crazy!  *wink  I am working on the crazy monster when we have to leave anywhere.  I have tried many things and nothing seems to work.  It has just been bad recently so I am hoping to figure it out or it is something that she will work through and move past it.  Either way I am actively trying to find a solution.

Then we come to the binkie.  That is something that I just need to do.  I need to pull it off like a band-aid.  I am so scared because it soothes her so much at night, but I know it has to be done so she isn't putting it in her honeymoon bag when she gets married.  However, that one thing does not make me be a failing mom.  

Making a rainbow "R" for "R" Week!
I love her more deeply than any other woman in this world could.  I color with her.  I teach her a new letter every week.  I read her a bedtime story every night.  I try to engage myself in her little life.  I try to be part of her imagination.  I try to listen intently when she is telling me a story.  I TRY.  That is all I can do.  As long as I'm trying then I should be taking baby steps in the right direction.

One of the many bedtime stories we have read.  Love this book BTW (see this post for more that I love)
So please if you are like me don't be so hard on yourself!  We feel like this as moms, like I said earlier, because we want to be that perfect mom.  It is okay to STRIVE to be perfect.  It is not okay to EXPECT to be perfect.  That way we have something to work towards...we have goals, but we know that we will make mistakes and it is those mistakes that make us a better mom.  Please don't forget that you are the best mom your kids could ask for.  YOU are the WORLD'S BEST MOM!

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23 comments:

Tree Hugging Attorney said...

I also work and feel guilty when I finally get home and still find it difficult to not "be present" 100% of the time. Checking my email at home feels like a betrayal to my son. Feeding him goldfish (ha!) and letting him eat pizza (not proud, but it happens) feels like a failure. Escaping to watch TV for 30 minutes sometimes feels nice. And then queues the guilt. So...I get it. And I also have girlfriends who can talk me off the ledge. No parent is going to be present all the time. No parent is going to enjoy reading the same book a million times. But every day that you put your child first (which, quite frankly, happens AT LEAST once every day) is a day that you are an awesome mom. And sometimes taking some time out and putting yourself first benefits the children, too. :)

Mia Hein said...

I can so totally relate to your post! I feel so guilty for so many things, and it is sometimes hard to admit that I have to change my behavior if I want Max to change his. And it feels awful when I go to bed and can only thing of all the ways I "failed" that day. But you are so right - we are trying! That is what really counts. Thank you for sharing.

Ann said...

So glad for this post! Sometimes I think we all are doing and struggling with the same things behind closed doors, yet feel as if we are the only ones. I appreciate your very candid thoughts. Thank you!

Melissa said...

Yes, we have all been there, and as long as you take time, lots of time to tell her you love her, and give hugs and teach her, then she understands you love her! You are taking great care of her! It sounds weir d, but my days are crazy and I schedule out time each day for one-on-one time with each of my kids. I don't end up doing it every day, but it makes me think about them and take little moments to focus on them. And they seem to do better :) you are so awesome! Thanks for posting this!

Michelle De La Cerda said...

I did need to read this. I'm a single mom, no family around, my ex-husband is around but not as present as my 4 year old needs him to be. I feel like a huge failure every single day. I work from home and the TV/electronics are always nearby.

camariej said...

Sham, you're amazing, and that little girl could not ask for a better mom!!! Keep it up. XO

Shambray Matthews said...

I agree. We all need time for ourselves and to fill our own tank. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I love hearing words of encouragement from other woman. Good luck and remember you are the best mom your kids could ask for!

Shambray Matthews said...

You are so welcome. Since I know your personally. I can honestly say you are one of the best mom examples around. You are so sweet to Max and I love watching you with all the kids in nursery. You are amazing!

Shambray Matthews said...

You are welcome. I agree. We can all find strength in each other.

Shambray Matthews said...

I love the one-on-one time scheduled out! That is a fantastic idea!

Shambray Matthews said...

Michelle! Your post brought me to tears (I am a crier). You are amazing lady! I can tell by your words. I work from home as well and those electronics can make mommies feel so guilty, but I can promise this. You are the best mom your little 4 year old could ask for. Keep going and come back to his post when you need it. Never forget..you are the worlds best mom.

Shambray Matthews said...

Love you Cami! You always make me feel like a rock star mom! That means a lot.

Amiejo said...

Sometimes I feel the same way. I think I spend too much time working on the blog and not enough time playing or teaching. I think I could justify it a little more if I was actually making money from my blog (I am working on that). I don't think I am failing but I know I can do better and I try to everyday. Today was a great day. I got work done fast and played a lot. My son is 4 and he still throws big fits sometimes when we leave some place he is having fun. I think that it is just something some kids do.

Amiejo said...

Sometimes I feel like we love our kids so much and want to be such great moms that we expect way to much of ourselves. Michelle I would just like to say that it is not such a horrible thing to have tv/electronics for our kids. I mean if you set them in front of it the whole time they are awake yes but I doubt that is the case. My 4 year old loves to watch tv and play on the tablet. There are days that our electronics never get turned on and others that my son watches more than I would like. I try to have a balance and that is all I can do.

Gwen said...

I'm now a mom of a 30 year old and 26 year old. Both girls. I thought I was a great Mom. I wasn't too much in their face about how to play. I made learning fun. I played outside with them. Took them with me. Did not feel I needed MY time to escape them. They played with friends and cousins and were in lots of activities. I never thought about it. I just sewed them cute stuff. And read a continuing story. And stayed up all night when they were very sick. I denied stuff for me to give to them. I taught them about shelters and children needing toys and sharing. But now? We aren't that close. The one doesn't remember my meals nor me playing four square nor reading Bible stories. The older one says she's good. I'm handicapped but I'm not a part of their time. I don't suppose I'd want to be. I want them to be young and having fun. But it's funny. My kids now? Don't even remember. Andd I was loving, not gone at night, home...provider...

Amy | Canary Street Crafts said...

I think any mom that worries about whether or not she's failing at being a mommy, is probably not failing at all. I love this post, sweet friend, and it's going to be one of my hostess features this Thursday at Your Turn To Shine. Thanks for linking up with us every week, Shambray!! :)

Tone said...

THANK YOU! I SO needed that. Imagine I would find this post this very day, when EVERYTHING went wrong!...
This morning was a battle field like no other. It is not unusal that our mornings are crazy, with a 7 year old and a 4 year old. The biggest (girl) needs to be told constantly and repetadely what to do in the morning cause she is so unfocused. And is in this talking-back-fase that makes me just CRAAAAZY! And my 4 year old screams everytime he`s not allowed to watch tv on the tablet. But this morning something just pushed me over the edge, and I screamed to my girl. I was hearbroken the rest of the day:( In the car on our way to kindergarden, school and work, I told them that from tomorrow on we start a new era! We wake up 45 minutes earlier and NO tv or tablet until everything that has to be done is done, including breakfast. I am just longing for thos quiet and cozy mornings where I actually have time to sit down with my kids and have breakfast with them and talk about our plans for the day. With no stress!!

Sigh from Norwegian Mom.

Ben Arkell said...

You are there. Period. I wrote an article about a boy who shared the same birthday as my son. His dad just died and his mom is in jail. My in-laws lived in Swaziland for 3 years and there are entire orphan villages because a whole generation (their parents) LITERALLY died of AIDS. Being there is 75% of the battle. You are there. Your daughter will remember that.

Shambray Matthews said...

I COMPLETELY understand. I am not making much money off of mine either and it is hard because it can sure cause a lot of guilt if I am trying to make a deadline and my daughter wants my attention.

Shambray Matthews said...

That is so hard! I'm sure they will see it sometime. It is hard to go through stuff like that. I don't get it. Not having an explanation is the hardest I believe, but you sound like a rock star mom and I believe they will see that!

Shambray Matthews said...

Thank you for the kind words. That is what someone told me once as well. That if I am worrying about it then I am not failing. Great words of advice. Thank you.

Shambray Matthews said...

Oh man! I know how you feel. I HATE when I scream. That really makes me feel defeated, but it does happen because we are human. We can't be perfect all the time. Darn it. You sound like you have a great plan. I hope it is going well for you! Sending hugs your way!

Shambray Matthews said...

Thank you Ben! You made my day!

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